Last month I wrote a post specifically for those who wrestle with lesbianism. As a result of that post, I discovered that there is a whole group of you who do not struggle with homosexuality yourselves but who have friends who do and you’re wondering how to talk to them.
First, let me give you a virtual pat on the back. Our culture says that individuals should be allowed to live however they want to without having to hear the concerned criticism of friends and loved ones. But you know better. You understand that being a good friend means sometimes standing up for what’s right and taking a hard stand against choices contrary to God’s Word. To that I say, go girl! It’s never easy to stand for truth, and when sin is involved you might start to feel like a salmon swimming upstream against anger, resistance, or plain ol’ stubbornness.
Talking to a friend who is dabbling in (or thinking about dabbling in) homosexuality won’t be easy. But it is worth it. Check out this encouragement from James 5:19–20:
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Whew! That’s a good reminder of what the stakes are. With that in mind, here are five steps to take when talking to a friend about homosexuality.
That might sound like the ultimate Christian cliché, but it’s not a wise choice to talk to a friend about the sin in their lives without getting prayed up. Think of prayer like tilling up the soil to make it ready to receive the seeds of truth that you wish to plant. Ask God to make your friend’s heart ready to hear God’s truth through you. Ask Him to give you the words to say and to provide an opportunity for you to talk about the subject of homosexuality at the time when your friend will be most receptive.
Establish a Baseline
Before you confront sin in your friend’s life, you need to ask one whopper of a question: “Is she a Christian?”
If the answer is no, you will need to start there. You can’t convince her that homosexuality is a sin if she doesn’t believe in a holy God who punishes sin. In this case, you will need to stop talking about homosexuality with her and start talking about the Gospel. Instead of convincing her to change her lifestyle, you will need to show her the importance of letting God change her heart.
If she is a Christian, move on to the next step.
Use the Word
God’s Word is ultimately more important than your opinion. In fact, God’s Word has the power to transform your friend in ways that you do not.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Heb. 4:12–13).
God’s Word has power to pierce and to change.
When you talk to your friend about her sin, avoid using terms like “I feel” and “I think.” Instead say, “God’s Word says.” It’s much harder to argue with God’s Word because, well, it’s from God. When you do talk to your friend, be prepared with some verses that apply to the situation. Here are a few to consider:
A lot of damage has been done to homosexuals and to the image of the church by well-meaning Christians who have honed in on this sin but forgotten Jesus’ greatest commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. When you talk to your friend about homosexuality, make sure you do it in a way that is kind and loving, not judgmental or self-righteous. Do everything in your power to make sure your interaction is calm, loving, and Bible-based.
Follow the Pattern
The Bible does give us clear instructions for how to deal with sin within the Body. It’s a complex subject, and one I can’t address fully in this post. But here is an article that you can check out for more information.
If we boil passages about confronting sin down, we find a pattern. It goes like this:
- Talk to the person one on one.
- Go talk to the person again. This time bring back up, preferably a wise church leader such as your youth pastor.
- Take the issue to the church, usually through your pastor.
Clearly, talking about your friend about homosexuality won’t be easy. It will take effort. It will require you to spend time in prayer and to study God’s Word for His heart on this issue. And your friend’s reaction isn’t a foregone conclusion. Even so, if you have a friend who is sinning in this way, the stakes are too high to stay silent.
p.s. Hey, girls! This blog is now on Twitter @lywbblog. Followers wanted!